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Game No. 71 Preview: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners

Houston looks to prevent the serie sweep in Seattle.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Houston Astros (40-30) at Seattle Mariners (32-37), Jun 21, 2015 3:10 PM CDT

TV: Roots Sports SW, MLB.TV 
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Mariners SBNation BlogLookout Landing

Pitching matchup

RHP Vincent Velasquez (0-0, 4.66 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (3-3, 3.79 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)


The Astros have been all over the place, losing seven in a row, winning five in a row, and now dropping two in a row.

Looking at the notes from Chris' series preview:

The rubber match is...hold on a sec, stop right there.  How many of you actually know what "the rubber match" even means?  Okay, yeah, it's the third game of the series.  But what makes it rubber?  Read up on it here, and don't say I never did anything for you.

ANYway, the rubber match (which hopefully isn't a rubber match at all, because the Astros are gonna sweep the M's, right?)....

Okay, for real.

The third game will be played on Sunday, and will feature Astros rookie Vincent Velasquez (0-04.66 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 14.3 K-BB%) against ex-Astro non-rookie J.A. Happ.  Velasquez is struggling with walks so far in the major leagues, a trend which really shouldn't continue, as he never had much of a walk problem in the minors.  So far he's allowed almost 6 walks per nine innings, which is negating his excellent strikeout rate and preventing him from going deep into games.  Hopefully Velasquez settles down in his third major league start and is able to pitch deeper into the game than he has to this point.  Happ (3-33.79 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 12.5 K-BB%) is having the best season of his career so far.  The veteran of four different clubs has decreased his walk rate to 5.8%, nearly half of his career rate.  Happ is a four-pitch pitcher armed with a low-90's fastball, a slider, a curve, and a change.


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